Using a visual aid (meter stick, rulers, labeled plastic cups, and marshmallows) to show that electrons fill from lowest energy upwards.
This is used right after learning that electrons live in orbitals, and can only have two per orbital. Not much else is known by the student on configurations, other than we need a way to describe how electrons are arranged in the electron cloud.
Part 1 is optional for the students to build their own diagram. You can have these pre set up for the students. This would reduce the activity time to about 15-20 min.
Materials needed per group:
- cup of marshmallows (or other item to represent electrons)
- meter stick
- masking tape
- 3 rulers
- 3 books to raise the completed energy diagram
- 3 oz plastic cups, pre labeled (1 - 1s, 1 - 2s, 3 - 2p, 1 - 3s, 3 - 3p, 1 - 4s, 5 - 3d)